Winning bids up 24% as Dubai secures 261 business events in 2018

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Dubai Business Events, the city’s convention bureau, secured a bumper haul of business events last year as the city prepares to welcome more than 150,000 delegates in the coming years.

The bureau won a total of 261 successful bids for meetings, conferences and incentives in 2018 – a 24 per cent increase on 2017 - which are set to boost city coffers by AED1.2bn.

This success also marks a 62 per cent increase from the previous year in the number of delegates set to visit Dubai - signifying a shift towards larger-scale events in the emirate.

Dubai submitted 557 business event bids in 2018 - up from 354 in 2017.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “Driven by the city’s visionary leadership, Dubai has become a flourishing business events destination and knowledge hub which caters to a range of event types and sizes. Our strategy will continue to align with Dubai Tourism’s Vision and in 2019 our goal is to build on this momentum and attract events that leave a lasting legacy for delegates and the city. To achieve this, we will continue to engage with business events professionals globally, while working with stakeholders and partners in Dubai to identify and pursue opportunities to bid for major business events.”

Key bid wins include the World Congress of Gastroenterology in 2021 (6,000 delegates), the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress in 2020 (1,000 delegates), the World Chambers Congress in 2021 (1,500 delegates) and the Congress of the International Urology Society in 2021 (2,000 delegates).

Steen Jakobsen, assistant VP of Dubai Business Events, said: “One of Dubai’s strengths when it comes to reaching out to event planners and creating compelling bids for major events is the close team work and collaborative approach taken by stakeholders across the city. The monumental growth in the number of delegates set to attend business events in Dubai as a result of 2018 bid wins is testimony to the Emirate’s increasing appeal as a global business hub.  Business events hosted in the city play an important role in the development of our knowledge economy and are a crucial part of our wider tourism strategy and contribution to Dubai’s GDP growth.”

In November last year, Dubai hosted the 57th edition of the ICCA Congress that saw 1,156 industry professionals from 79 countries gather in the Middle East for the first time.

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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